Already having to play without Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, after ‘Melo was handed a one-game suspension, Knicks’ fans won’t be seeing Amar’e Stoudemire as much against the Indiana Pacers either.
Knicks team doctors have instructed Mike Woodson to cut Stoudemire’s minutes after he experienced soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.
Stoudemire, who was expected to be kept around 20 minutes per game upon returning to the lineup, played a season-high 28 minutes in Monday’s loss to the Celtics.
Woodson admitted he shouldn’t have played Stoudemire that much, but both STAT and the coach said that the latest development is not a setback in Stoudemire’s return.
“He was probably a little sore and that’s probably the reason for (limiting his minutes). So I’ve got to be open-minded to that and do what’s asked. That’s the right thing to do,” Woodson told ESPN’s Ian Begley.
Stoudemire played between 17-21 minutes his first three games, but saw the big increase Monday, including being on the floor almost the entire fourth quarter.
Woodson said STAT will play between 20 and 23 minutes Thursday and will continue to come off the bench.
However his status is unknown for Friday against Chicago because it is the second of back-to-back games.
“I feel great,” Stoudemire told Begley. “I just think we’re taking a precautionary route. Just making sure that everything [continues] to improve. I think that’s about it, really. No setbacks, no re-injury, anything like that. I feel great.”
Stoudemire is averaging 10 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20 minutes through four games.
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